Handling Objections & Listening Skills For Effective Appointment Setting
Getting your prospect to talk to you is achieving half of the inside sales effort; the other half which is just as important is addressing your prospect’s issues and concerns. You have made your way through the gatekeeper and have delivered a fantastic opening statement. Now your prospect seems to be listening and finally he responds with a series of questions and states the reasons why your product or service doesn’t measure up to his expectations or it does not answer a need that would merit his consideration for an lead generation appointment schedule. In short, he is now in the “objection” mode.
Your prospect seems to be more interested in talking than listening to you. Your response is either a silent acknowledgement of surrender or you move up to a more assertive level of delivering your message and making yourself ready for a debate – proving your prospect wrong. You would know what to expect afterwards, your prospect closes the door on you and you feel frustrated. Just when you had the chance, you blew it! This scenario is common even in everyday communications with other people. We always say people don’t listen while your prospect on the other line talks to those around him and tells them that you do not know how to listen!
Listening beyond words
The fact of the matter is, we do not listen! We have to learn listen beyond the spoken words. In a face-to-face conversation, we recognize the all too obvious and familiar body language that tells us that the person we are talking to is listening because his face is pointed straight at us with eyes glued to us as we speak. His posture gives us an indication that he is ready to respond and absorbing all the details of our presentation. In other words, body language is a form of non-verbal communication that comes with the spoken word. But of course that is not the case in making a call – all the signs of non-verbal communication are completely absent. We have to depend on some other indicator that determines if the prospect is into our discussion or maybe his attention is directed somewhere else.
Your prospect may be polite enough to allow you to say your piece as he keeps his silence throughout your presentation. After you are over and done with he simply says he does not need your product or service, or perhaps he just tells you that there are other options that he is considering and that it is not worth his time and effort for a lead generation appointment schedule.
There are 3 key elements to consider to be able to handle objections well that leads to an appointment setting close:
1. A well-delivered message
2. The ability to listen beyond words
3. Skillfully handling objections
Productive communication skills
The communication process by which two people have an exchange of ideas is called a dialogue. During the dialogue, a great deal information, facts and feelings are communicated that we have to train ourselves to be sensitive to.
So now, how do we determine if the prospect is really listening to our presentation or better yet how do we determine if we have captured his interest level to move on to the next step of closing the appointment setting and getting yourself prepared for objections handling? Perhaps we need to re-orient our thinking to how we can be an effective listener and be successful in addressing the issues, concerns and needs of the prospect.
Here are some of the communication strategies that you will find helpful in order to sustain and keep your prospect’s interest level high.
1. Engage your prospect in a two-way productive dialogue and listen with empathy
2. Check and verify for understanding every now and then by asking close-ended (answerable by a “yes” or “no”) questions. Example: “Mr.____, earlier in our discussion you mentioned about looking for other options, is that correct?”
3. Respond with short affirming words such as “uhuh,” “okay,” “I understand,” “Please go on,” etc…
Listening skills and the ability to listen beyond the spoken words sets the stage for good objections handling in lead generation campaign. Objections handling is a two-way communication process that can be learned and mastered easily when you know the key elements and how to use it properly in your inside sales campaign.